The curriculum relates topics of cell and developmental biology with those of infection biology and corresponding disease. The cell biology topics comprise developmental subjects such as tissue regeneration and morphogenetic cell migration, molecular stem cell biology, epigenetic plasticity, multicellularity and environment depending development. Based on general aspects and novel approaches in molecular biology including bioinformatics and computational biology, current research topics in the fields of cell biology, microbiology, biophysics, bioinformatics are emphasized. These include in particular the action of pathogenicity factors of both human-pathogenic prokaryotic and eukaryotic infectious strains and ways to develop strategies against disease spreading.
The two selected topics are composed of two theory modules as well as a practical course unit each. Further research training is provided in a selected field of interest, and the students are actively involved in ongoing research projects and learn to independently plan and perform both theoretical and experimental work and finally, to summarize and discuss the results obtained in the thesis.
The students learn to understand the complexity of developmental processes of cells and tissues, based on fundamental principles of cell and molecular biology including the control of gene expression at various levels. By studying various forms and “strategies” of infectious particles or organisms, the students become familiar with the principles of strategies to limit the spreading of infectious disease and are able to evaluate infectious agents with regard to biosafety and biosecurity issues. The students are enabled to address scientific questions with regard to cellular organization and development, theoretic principles of infection biology and pathogenicity including principles and mechanistic details on the origin and spreading of infectious diseases. The students learn to perform biohazard risk assessments and to setup appropriate biosafety actions. They are aware of scenarios in research and environment that may be associated with biological hazards. They know to approach scientific problems both theoretically and experimentally, and - based on the results obtained - to further develop scientific models and hypotheses.